Practical tips to find and stop gas and water leaks

Did you know that most homes and businesses have a gas or water leak right now?

No matter how much work we do to police them, there will be gas leaks for as long as there are gas lines.

They do, it’s just that most leaks do not rise to the level of being a problem. It’s just a fact of the physics involved with liquids and gases… there is always a gap, however and nearly imperceptable, large enough for fluid to escape.

The question to ask yourself is if you have a leak that rises to the level of costing you money or, in the exrtreme, possibly harmful to your health.

Regarding the possibly dangerous gas leak, most regulations and standards, and the general rule most professional plumbers will adhere to, allow for a minimal amount of escaping fluid or gas before the pipe or connection counts under those regulations as a leak.

The good news is, you should be able to smell a gas leak long before it gets that bad, and water leaks often have warning signs that can be seen or heard.

Occasionally, however, such a gas leak can be trapped in an area where the vapour does not escape a wall enclosure or stranger circumstances.  See below about the dangers of a leak that can cause Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to have your plumber do a leak check on any trip visit for another unrelated repair.

Here are some practical tips for leak detection on your own until one of our Chicago plumbers can come by…

    • Check the water bill: A family of four will typically use 12,000 gallons (16 centum cubic feet) per month. Usage in excess of this amount indicates a likely leak. (Your results may vary!)
    • Check toilets: Warn-out flappers are a primary water waster. Listen for toilets that refill between flushes.  Here is a terrific visual tip: Find slow leaks by dropping food coloring in tanks; if the bowl takes color without a flush, you can be sure there’s a leak.
    • Check interior faucets: Drips from sink and tub faucets, and showerheads, are easy to spot, but often ignored. Repair or replace warn parts to curb water-wasting drips. (And lower your water bills!)
    • Look outside: Outside hose or irrigation system leaks are often overlooked. Check for drips and moist ground during dry weather to find preventable leaks.  Some leaks can happen under ground where the pipes to your home travel to the curb.  Look for areas over those pipes to see if the grass grows much faster than surrounding areas of the lawn.
    • Get a digital leak detection system installed: The plumbing industry is being changed by mobile computer technology just as any other industry.  A flow-based leak detection device, such as that offered from flologic.com will detect leaks as small as a drip per second and automatically shut them off right from your iPad or mobile phone. While the primary function of FloLogic is to prevent property damage, it has the added benefit of flagging hidden leaks to save natural resources and money on water bills. (We are seeing more and more of these projects, and so far, we are very impressed with them!)

  • Gas Leak Detection: While you can likely smell a gas leak detection before it gets bad, they shouldn’t be trifled with.  As soon as you smell it, call a plumber immediately.  While a leak can worsen over time, they can also deteriorate quickly.  Don’t take a chance. (Never hurts to ask your plumber to do a leak detection for you to be sure!)

That’s why you should always familiarise yourself with whether your gas supply can be turned off — especially if you’re in a new property or have recently made changes to the layout.  If you do not have a digital device that can do the above, you may one day need to shut it off manually, when time is of the essence.

There can also be some clear signs from your household appliances that can indicate a leak, even if you can’t smell gas:

  • Always look for a crisp blue flame, rather than an orange or yellow flame.
  • Likewise, look out for a pilot light that always seems to blow out.
  • On the outside of the appliance watch out for soot or any black or brown scorched areas around your appliances.
  • Watch out for excessive condensation on the windows, or a musty smell in the air.

But in the case of a carbon monoxide leak, there are also particular physical symptoms you may suffer from if there is a leak.

If you are feeling lightheaded, ill, dizzy or nauseous you should go outside immediately. If the symptoms go away in the fresh air you could be feeling the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The next step is to get fresh air into your home to help disperse the gas. Open all the windows and doors and leave them open to ensure air flow.

If you can’t open the windows because they’re locked or for any other reason, get outside and into the fresh air as soon as possible.

Here is a shocking story out of Dallas Texas about a recent drought and rain season that has damaged a community’s old steel pipes that transported natural gas:


From The Atlantic: Gas Leaks Can’t Be Tamed

The scent of gas is usually the most common sign of its presence, but pure natural gas is actually odorless. The familiar, rotten-egg aroma that you sense when the pilot light of your furnace blows out is produced by sulfur-based compounds called thiols that were added to natural gas to aid in its detection. This began after the 1937 New London School explosion in New London, Texas, considered the deadliest school disaster in American history. The explosion killed 295 people, many of them children. Ever since then, we’ve doctored natural gas to try to keep better tabs on it.

gas leak detection

A Chicago Plumber With A Commitment To The Technical Edge

Rocket Plumbing in Chicago is proud to announce new improvements to our operations.

We have new trucks for our plumbers!

Take a look at our new trucks and our new branding.  We have always taken pride in the Rocket Plumbing brand, our logo, and how we present our plumbing service.   Pictured below are our new trucks.

 

We have received  Angie’s List’s 2017 service award!

This award is earned by outstanding service and as a result of the feedback from our Angie’s List customers.  Our obsession with keeping our customers’ plumbing in tip top shape has paid off in long term customers that we want to help for many years to come.

Rocket Plumbing Now
3105 N. Ashland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 219-1200

Rocket Plumbing’s Same day plumbing Service for both Residential and commercial service plumbing comes with a smile. Excellent customer service is our top of mind goal, we only employ punctual plumbers, we provide written warranties, and never compromise on our friendly service.

We are proud to announce that we are Chicago’s Best Hydro Jet Service.

What is a Hydro Jet?

How does it clean the very worst of the worst clogged pipes?

What is the science behind how it works?

Why are it’s benefits so long lasting and therefore cheaper in the long run? Watch our explainer video right here:  Chicago Hydro Jet Service

The Best Plumber In Chicago Should Have The Best Plumber Coupon, Don’t You Think?

Check out our brand new Coupon process that makes it easier than ever to save on your next Plumbing Emergency!

Avondale Chicago Residents Confounded By Foul Odor

 

CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports state and city officials have no answers for worried residents.

It’s been a nightmare for Sara Suh, her husband and their five-year-old daughter since last Monday. Windows are open – even with the chilly temperatures – and a fan is running.

The fear is that the odor is toxic. The strong scent of what smells like turpentine is coming from the basement’s sump pump.

It’s not just at this house. Neighbors in the Avondale community like Yuri Zilberg have the odor in their homes, as well.

“I thought I was going out of my mind,” Zilberg says.

Suh has taken action, making a flurry of phone calls to state and city departments.

And they’ve responded. The Water Department, too. And three times firefighters were here last week, Suh says.

She even had her plumber take a look. It was a $150 house call.

Even Williams could smell something in the air.

Still, no can explain it.

“I hope it’s going to be fixed. It’s not in my plan to live like this very long,” Suh says.

Chicago Fire Department spokesperson Larry Langford says firefighters tested the air with meters and found no signs of natural gas or carbon monoxide.

What does it smell like when you have a Gas Leak?

Since natural gas is odorless and colorless in its natural form, a distinctive odorant called mercaptan is added to help you detect a gas leak. Mercaptan makes the gas smell like sulfur or “rotten eggs”.

Gas Leak Repairs in Chicago are a pretty common factor for plumbers to check.  Ignoring this issue is a serious mistake.  If you ever smell that mercaptan odour, do as Sarah Suh did, and get help quick.  A quick phone call could save your home or office, or even more.

Rocket Plumbing Now
3105 N. Ashland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 219-1200

 

Chicago From Afar

Beautiful Chicago Landscape

Chicago Landscape

We are looking after the pipes of this beautiful breathtaking city.  Whomever took this picture, please email us at webmaster[@]rocketplumbingnow.com. We would like more!

Rocket Plumbing
3105 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL, US
(773) 219-1200

Adapting to harsh cold conditions affecting pipes in Chicago

With harsh winter conditions around the corner, it’s a good idea to prepare now. Back in 2015 we were interviewed by NBC Chicago about simple steps you can take to protect your pipes from freezing and bursting. Pipes can burst as the water in them expands when it turns to ice. Every year we are inundated by this plumbing emergency, some years more than others. It is well worth your while to take a few minutes today to take action on the simple steps in the video to prevent a very possible crisis that could destroy your property and rack up an unnecessary plumbing bill.

NBC Chicago video on protecting pipes in the winter

Here are our suggestions:

Leave the heat on.
Keep the thermostat consistent.
Run a trickle of water.
Open cabinet doors below sinks.
Be sure the heating vents are open.
Close crawl space vents.
Remove hoses from outside faucets.
If gone, have someone check.
Locate the water shutoff BEFORE you need it.
Consider renters insurance.

And add a good plumber to your mobile phone.  Rocket Plumbing’s number is (773) 219-1200. We will help you with any plumbing problem that cold weather can throw at you.


Plumbing Manufacturers High On Our List

“The right tools for the right job”…

It’s not just a cliche, it’s a rule here at Rocket Plumbing Chicago.  No tool is the same, and like nearly every industry in our modern age, innovation is a constant.   Below we are listing the Manufacturers we approve, and pass on their benefits to our customers in the form of savings of both time and money, as well as long term efficiency and the lowest maintenance possible.

Moen

As the #1 faucet brand in North America, Moen offers a diverse selection of thoughtfully designed kitchen and bath faucets, showerheads, accessories, bath safety products, garbage disposals and kitchen sinks for residential and commercial applications each delivering the best possible combination of meaningful innovation, useful features, and lasting value.

Mifab

MIFAB provides us the quality, engineered plumbing and drainage solutions we need to keep the water flowing. Innovative product designs save us time and material cost and provides our customers with higher quality cast stainless steel drains and cleanouts for the same cost as the industry standard nickel bronze.

TOTO USA

TOTO got it’s start in 1912, when the found sought to bring the ceramic innovations of plumbing and sewage from the United States to his home country of Japan. This company has always embraced technology, pursued the highest levels of cleanliness, incorporated high aesthetic standards, protected the environment, and worked to improve people’s lifestyles. The case can be made that TOTO has become the world standard of excellence for a quality bathroom experience with it’s bathroom fixture products.

Zoeller

The Zoeller family of companies is a quality manufacturer – from residential waste and clean water pump solutions to commercial and municipal solutions engineered to exact standards.

Bradford White

This company has many innovations in Water Heater technology.   Ask us about their tankless water heaters, and the cool technology that makes it all possible.

Kohler

Kohler Co. was co-founded in 1873 by Austrian immigrant John Michael Kohler and Charles Silberzahn. Kohler is best known for its plumbing products, but the company also manufactures furniture, cabinetry, tile, engines, and generators.

Chicago Faucets

Started in 1901, Chicago Faucets has been one of America’s leading manufacturer of commercial faucets for over 110 years. Their manufacturing, research, and development facilities are located solely in the United States,

Ridgid

Believe it or not, in 1923, they invented the modern pipe wrench.

Delta Faucet

Delta Faucet Company, America offers an extensive line of residential and commercial products, incorporating style and innovation into faucets and flush valves.

Elkay

Elkay is an American-owned and operated company. For more than 90 years, they have been an innovative manufacturer of stainless steel sinks for residential and commercial use. We like installing their world class sinks, faucets, drinking fountains and award winning rapid bottle filling stations.

Rheem

Brothers Richard and Donald Rheem founded Rheem Manufacturing Company in Emeryville, Calif., in 1925. While the company has produced a number of products in its nearly 100 years of operation — including steel shipping containers, household appliances like gas ranges, semi-conductors, musical instruments and more — we like to install their heating, cooling, and water heating products.

Rinnai

Rinnai was founded in 1920 by Hidejiro Naito and Kanekichi Hayashi. They started out manufacturing and selling pressurized oil cooking stoves. By the early 1930s, they expanded into gas appliances, including cooking stoves, ranges and space heaters; and since 1964 Rinnai has been efficiently heating water. Today, more than 30 million Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters have been installed worldwide.

 

Water Leak Repair

Not the Surprise You Were Hoping For?

If you have a Water Leak: READ THIS NOW!

Leaks are no joke. Water can cause serious damage to your home, business, and property.
Call Levi’s  Plumbing Chicago right now and have your leak fixed fast and have it fixed right.

Step 1: Call (773) 219-1200 RIGHT NOW!

Do not delay to schedule an emergency appointment. If you have leaking water simply can’t afford to wait another minute. Call and tell them that:

checkbox ABOUT US You have leaking water

checkbox ABOUT US You are on the site

checkbox ABOUT US You need emergency priority

Step 2: Click here and read about how to shut-off the water to the leak’s source.

This brief article explains in detail how to stop any plumbing emergency “dead in its tracks”. This is the same exact method that licensed plumbers use when dealing with a plumbing emergency themselves.

Step 3: Shut-off any electricity near the drenched area WITH EXTREME CAUTION!!

It should go without saying that water and electricity do not mix! If you feel comfortable with the process then proceed to shut off all electricity to the area. If you are not comfortable with the process, leave the electricity “as is” and stand clear of the area.

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Toilet Repair

A Well Maintained Toilet is Vital to Clean Air Quality

For clean air quality, it is vital to have a well-maintained toilet!  It is a great idea to contact Rocket Plumbing Now, whenever your toilet starts having issues!  No matter if you need service or a brand new toilet installed, we are the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area’s finest plumbing company offering high quality plumbing products and emergency plumbing services. Contact us 24/7 in Chicago at (773) 219-1200!

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Of most of the most important types of plumbing repairs requiring a professional plumber is for toilets. When there is a toilet problem, there can possibly be sanitation issues to be concerned about, and that is why it is recommended to have a plumber check it out. It is because if a toilet is not repaired properly, a small problem may turn into a big problem.

Even if there is a problem with the toilet and it is not being used, there is potential health risk if it isn’t looked at and repaired by a plumber. There is a “p-trap,” which will stop the backflow of waste gasses from flowing into the home, and the water located at the bottom acts as the barrier between waste gasses and the air that we breathe.  For this reason. you don’t want a toilet issue sitting too long before getting in touch with a professional plumber.

For a professional plumber to evaluate your toilet or if you are experiencing another plumbing concern in the Chicagoland area, just give Rocket Plumbing Now a call, and we’ll look over the problem. Contact us at (773) 219-1200, and get your free quote today!

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If you would rather contact us thru email, feel free to contact us through our Contact Page here. We check our email constantly, we will respond!

Rocket Plumbing Now

3105 N. Ashland Avenue

Chicago, IL 60657

(773) 219-1200